This morning we continue our series entitled “Leveling Up with the Word!” We have been looking at the parable of the sower. So let’s continue through it today.
(Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
“The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. That is like some people who hear the teaching of God. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them.
Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching, and they quickly and gladly accept it. But they don’t allow it to go deep into their lives. They keep it only a short time. As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.
Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.
And others are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce a good crop—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.”
Last week I started talking about the good ground. I will flow in that vein again today. When you look at the good ground, you see LEVELS of harvest. Let’s talk about it.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. There are LEVELS to this.
If you have been watching the video version of this series, you know that I routinely asked you to declare, “I am good ground!” That’s a good declaration. However, as we see in the text, there are levels of harvest associated with good ground.
Within the context of this parable, we see that God is the sower, His Word is the seed, and we are the soil. God wants to produce a harvest in, with, and thorough our lives. So He provides the seed that will produce. What He is looking for from us is a heart (soil) that receives the seed of His Word without any distractions and then HOLDS ON to that seed long enough to see the desired result (a full harvest) come to pass.
Let’s think about what Jesus is teaching us in this parable. Here are a few takeaways we can glean from it:
— God sows into our lives by speaking Words. He can either illuminate something He already said in His written Word (the Bible), or He can speak to us directly. Either way, when God speaks to us, His Word is a seed, and the power to produce a harvest is contained in it.
— No Word from God ever comes without the power to perform it.
— The power to do what God said is locked up inside the Words He spoke.
— God created the entire universe by speaking words. Never underestimate the power of ONE WORD from God!
— The way we receive the seed impacts the level of harvest we get from it.
— The power to produce a 100 fold return is locked up inside of every Word (seed). But most seeds don’t produce 100! Some produce 60. Some produce 30. Some don’t produce at all (from the other types of soil). The power to produce 100 (God’s intent) is locked up inside every Word He speaks. But seeing the 100 manifested is the exception and not the norm, not because there is something wrong with God or His Word. The issue is always with the soil (i.e., you and me).
— There are different levels of yield from the seed, even in good ground, because there are different levels of submission and faith in the soil. If you don’t believe what God said and then hold on long enough to see it come to pass, you won’t see a 100 fold return on the seed. In other words, you won’t see the fulness of what God promised. You may get a portion of it (30 fold, 60 fold), but you won’t see the full harvest (100 fold) unless you hold on to that Word, in faith, for the long haul.
2. Some people receive no harvest or partial harvest.
We already covered the first three types of soil: wayside, rocky, and thorny. If you fall into any of these categories, the Word will not work in your life. While in the good ground, I am talking about varying LEVELS of harvest (30 fold, 60 fold, and 100 fold); in the first three soil types, the harvest is ZERO!
Let me pause here and make a point about God and His Word. Since what I just said is accurate, and the Word of God only produces a harvest in people who receive it correctly, I want to point out that a good portion of the criticism the church receives is unwarranted. People complain about Pastors, churches, God, and His “antiquated” Word when often the issue is simply with them. There is nothing wrong with God. There is nothing wrong with His Word. His Word works. You just have to get to the point where you are good ground!
Some receive a 30 fold return. Some receive a 60 fold return. Some receive a 100 fold return. Some receive zero return. The grace of God is on every seed for a 100 fold return. But God’s grace must be accessed with our faith. Where there is no faith, there will be no harvest from the Word God spoke (the seed He has sown).
3. You have to receive God’s Word in faith.
— When you receive a Word from God and rest in what God said, you know (as far as God is concerned) it is already done. What God promised is done in heaven, and it is only a matter of time before it manifests in the earth realm.
— You know you don’t have to make it happen because God made it happen before the world began.
— You know you don’t have to work to earn it because Jesus earned it for you. God’s promises come by His uneared and amazing grace.
— You are open to doing whatever the Holy Spirit leads you to do, by faith, to receive what God has already provided. But you are not working for God to do it. You are working because you believe God already did it. You are not working to make it happen. You are operating in faith because you believe it is already done (in heaven).
— You believe the story of your life was written before you were born. You believe God made plans for you before the world began. So you live your life with a heart that is OPEN to whatever God says. You receive God’s words as something that is ALREADY DONE!
— The reason there are levels to the return of the seed is that there are levels of believing. Faith receives what God has already provided. But since there are levels of faith, there will be levels of harvest.
That’s enough for today. We will pick it up from here tomorrow.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! To go higher in You, I must learn to receive from You on a greater level. The more I receive, the more Your Word will produce in my life. So my ability to go HIGHER, to the NEXT LEVEL, is tied to my ability to hear from You. Your Word is everything to me. I live by every Word You speak to me. My life is not about me or any selfish desires. All I want is what You want for me. All I want is what You planned for me before the world began. So speak Father, Your servant is listening. As You reveal Your plans to me, I believe and receive, by faith, what You release to me, by grace. And I stand in faith long enough to see the FULNESS of what You promised. I am after 100! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.